Syrian rebels have been ejected from the Baba Amr district of Homs, promising revenge as they retreat. Syrian authorities allow humanitarian aid to those left in need in the city is to be delivered Friday.
Most rebel troops were pushed out of the area by President Assad’s forces on Thursday, AP reports. The Baba Amr brigade says it pulled back in order to allow some 4,000 civilian residents who had remained in their homes during the siege to escape to safety, and warned that the government will pay dearly for “targeting the civilian population in Homs.”
“We urge the international community and Muslim and Arab states to intervene immediately to prevent a potential massacre in the coming hours against tens of thousands of children, women and elderly people,” the Syrian National Council said.
The BBC reports that the rebels' withdrawal may have been made in accordance with some agreement with the government. But online reports on behalf of the Baba Amr brigade say the rebels didn’t have enough arms to protect the people in Homs.
And getting ready for further bombardment, the Syrian opposition made another strategic move to unify its various armed resistance factions, pushing the country further down the road to civil war.
"The revolution started peacefully and kept up its peaceful nature for months, but the reality today is different – and the SNC must shoulder its responsibilities in the face of this new reality," said the leadership of Syrian National Council.
Syrian authorities said they're up against armed gangs and terrorists in Homs. The Syrian Red Crescent has been allowed to provide humanitarian aid to the civilian population under siege there, who are in dire need of food and medical supplies. Al Arabiya described the situation there as “extremely worrying.”
“The ICRC and the SARC will go on Friday to Baba Amr to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate the wounded,” ICRC spokesman in Damascus Saleh Dabbakeh told AFP.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council together with Russia and Chine urged Assad’s government to grant access to the UN's humanitarian chief.